Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 2nd, PBE Marksman/AD Changes Context, & More

Posted on at 11:50 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for May 2nd, context and changelist threads from Riot Axes on Marksman/AD items in the 8.10 PBE cycle, a changelist thread for jungle changes on the PBE from Riot Sotere, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 2 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for May 2nd, including thoughts on midseason changes, a post on supports soon, Varus' W, and more:

"Hey all, 
Usual Disclaimers 
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get put delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: 
Midseason changes still being worked on 
As you've likely seen in other threads in the Devcorner and PBE Boards we've got a number of changes in for midseason. Those are still being worked on, whether it's polish on AD items that will be in 8.11, ongoing exploration and tuning of jungle changes (probably in 8.10) or follow up to mage and AP item mana changes from 8.9. Continued feedback on those much appreciated, whether from direct experiences with the changes in game or analysis of them after they're posted. While we won't be able to act on every piece of feedback, especially when different players are looking for very different things, it is extremely valuable, letting us catch or improve a range of things. 
Thoughts on supports soon 
We've talked about a lot of other classes and positions recently, we haven't talked much about supports and problems there for a bit. Some thoughts on that shortly (Friday or mid next week). Short version is there are some issues we want to look at once midseason's stabilized, including how reliably defensive power is from enchanters and whether the current power from the heal/shield stat's too high and/or undercosted. Long version soon. 
Varus W empowered Q sounds 
We've been seeing some feedback recently that it's too hard to tell when Varus is charging a W empowered Q, versus just a normal Q, making it hard to play around that more dangerous cast. Turns out one of the reasons for that is that the main audio cue on the empowered Q charge (a spinning powering up sound) wasn't playing most of the time. That should be fixed in 8.9, let us know if it's still really hard to tell if it's a normal or empowered Q after that. 
Surrender Rules 
Sometime soon (probably starting this week) we'll be testing a change to the early surrender rules that removes the unanimous vote requirement and instead goes with the normal 4 of 5 yes votes. That change will initially be only on the Oceanic server, if it tests well there we'll then roll it out to other regions as well. 
We originally went with a unanimous requirement for early surrenders to ensure players weren't having games that looked winnable still surrendered out from under them that early. Looking at early surrender's use however games that fail a surrender 4-1 between 15-20 very often end up with a surrender or defeat around 20 minutes instead. That means the unanimous requirement is mainly just dragging out already lost games."

When asked about the changes for Infinity Edge testing on the PBE, Meddler commented:
Could some context be given on why IE has Yasuo's double crit passive? 
What do you think will be the main rush items post marksmen changes? I think StormRazor ER BT or BotRK will what an adc rushes depending on the champ 
How does StormRazor's Auto Crit work with MF's Q because the first hit cannot crit 
Lastly thoughts on Ashe since her crit system is much different to other adcs
We wanted to make it so IE was a late game item, not something you rushed early. Early IE gives really high potential crit, gets multipliers on damage going too fast and leads to increased access to crit in lane. Shifting it to a later item and pushing some of its power towards being better at killing tanky targets more helps with those issues. We chose double crit because it's both a pretty strong limiter (no way you're rushing this as a first item and few champs can go Zeal item first) and one that's pretty easy to understand (oh, I need some crit for this to do anything, I'll get it later). 
I think you'll generally be right about StormRazor, ER and BotRK as common rush items. Less confident we'll see early BT still. Would also still expect some of the existing less common starts to still exist too. Things like Triforce, Rageblade, Lethality etc on specific champs. 
Not certain on the MF Q interaction with StormRazor, let me get back to you on that one.
Think it's likely we'll need to do some tuning on Ashe after these changes, though I think current thinking is what and see where she lands, rather than trying to pre-emptively change things. Is there a particular interaction or item you're thinking with regards to Ashe?"

Meddler continued:
"MF Q - can't crit on the first Q overrides the guaranteed crit on StormRazor. The StormRazor buff is then removed since subsequent hits, whether Q2 or regular AAs, are no longer the first AA."

As for the effects of the Infinity Edge changes on champion abilities and passives, Meddler commented:
What're you planning on doing about all the abilities/passives that got increased damage from IE crits, but aren't affected by IE's new passive? MF's Double Up comes to mind. 
You say IE isn't something you rush early, but BF>zeal is normal now and looks like it could be pretty normal after this, too. I assume you're hoping the deathcap-style buildpath will discourage BF>zeal>finish IE? 
Are you going to make sure stormrazor doesn't interact with shiv to guarantee shiv rolling a crit?
Some individual champs will likely need balancing around these item changes. Having said that some benefit a lot in other regards. Jhin's extremely effective with StormRazor for example, so much more suspicious he'll be too strong than worried he'll be too weak. 
Expectation is IE will generally be a good choice as third item, rather than following on from a Zeal or Zeal item. Having said that we're still tuning numbers so I wouldn't swear that its current stats and gold cost necessarily put it there right now or not. Deathcap's a pretty good comparison, though potentially kicking in a bit earlier and more commonly than DC has tended to in recent years. 
StormRazor should cause Shiv to crit. If that's a problem we'll then balance it, we've already taken a chunk of power out of Shiv recently though."

As for the previously mentioned possible VO update, Meddler replied:
Hey meddler can I ask for a status update on the mini updates your mentioned you guys were going to do a while back, particularly the VO one
We ended up iceboxing that VO update for now. We'll get back to it at some point, what we discovered after recording new VO was that opinion on the champ in question, both from Rioters and other players, varied enormously. Some existing players of the champ loved it, some hated it. After digging into that we concluded the issue was we hadn't clearly enough defined what personality aspects were important to preserve, so were delivering on some people's idea of the champ and contradicting others pretty hard. We weren't trying to make a personality shift, so concluded we needed to take another pass at some point instead of going with that VO."

On supports, Meddler commented:
So support changes are going through, eh?
Hopefully we won’t get nerfed into the ground too badly, though my main concern is early game and how effective shields and peel will be when a game is fresh and we don’t have a solid build yet.
There are some support related issues we want to look at and talk about. Nothing concrete yet though and assuming we do make changes they'll be after we've done some midseason followup/balancing."

As for how Varus is doing after his W change went to live, Meddler noted:
While we're on the topic of Varus, are there any thoughts on Varus's current state since the W changes?
Potentially a bit on the weak side, accompanying W and passive nerfs took a bit more power out than we'd intended. Having said that we've got a lot of marksmen impacting stuff arriving soon so I think it's likely we reassess after that, see if he needs changes at that point or not."

On Last Whisper, Meddler commented:
So will Last Whisper be a must buy 3rd item again like before?
We're looking to avoid that, in particular with a higher price point on it relative to where it used to be, so it's not so mandatory early on so many champs. Having said that it's likely some degree of must buy for it does creep back, particularly on champs that synergize really well with it. That's a price we concluded was worth paying though for the other benefits shifting back to total pen gives (in particular more appropriate scaling for many champs who don't have to be early game or bust to the same degree)."

He continued:
How is it a bad thing if almost every ad builds Last Whisper
Its not like mages arent building Void Staff everygame
I'd argue it removes choice and variety from the item system, leading to a less interesting game. Void Staff does that too. In neither case is that a critical issue, but it's a cost we pay if we have those items exist as very general multipliers on your damage like this."

On KarmaMeddler replied:
Will karma be in this discussion or is she more on the mage side of things?
Going to be talking general issues (e.g. state of shielding/healing overall and problems from that) rather than changes planned for specific champs."

On Tryndamere and YasuoMeddler replied:
What do you think about Tryndamere and Yasuo regarding ADC items revamp ? 
They aren't the target of those changes, will they receive compensation buff ?
They might receive compensation buffs, or compensation nerfs, depending on where these changes put them. Either would likely be after we see where these changes land."

When asked about the fighter/bruiser item mentioned in a previous QGT post, Meddler noted:
Is the fighter/bruiser item still going to happen? Or is it the new Stormrazor? thing?
Might still have a new fighter item later (8.12 or beyond). Still testing, so nothing guaranteed yet."

As for the new keystone, Meddler commented:
Will the new keystone Hail of Blades be going onto the PBE this cycle? Haven’t seen anything on it yet.
Might be this cycle, might be the next one. Aiming to have it in patch 8.11 regardless though."

When asked about the new Stormrazor item critting towers, Meddler noted:
Is the crit on towers with stormrazor intended or just a bug because i can crit the towers several times with jhin besides the 4th shot when i have stormrazor
Critting towers is a bug, should be fixed in an upcoming PBE build."

When asked about icons for the changed items, Meddler commented:
speaking of Icons will any of the marksmen Items be getting a new look?
Mainly IE cause I feel it might be somewhat starting to show its age
Yeah, I think we've got an updated IE one at least. Not aware of any changing beyond that right now."

Marksman changes coming to PBE in the next couple days 

Here's Riot Axes with a context post on Marksman changes that are now testing on the PBE:
"Hi folks, 
We’re going to be putting a bunch of marksman stat and item changes on the PBE over the next couple days - wanted to set initial context and talk goals first. (Important note: the changes are not shipping with 8.10 - we’re giving them a longer soak time on PBE than usual.) 
Marksmen as a class have been too strong for a while, and express that strength in ways that produce only a few game states. Early setbacks in lane don't put hyperscaling carries behind enough to really matter, so most lane bully marksmen have vanished or moved to other positions. The bullies who remain tend to be champions who can also be late game carries if they win lane, namely crit-scaling bullies like Caitlyn and Rageblade champions like Varus. 
(As an aside, we've heard questions about the level of influence supports have on the game. The marksman issues outlined above need to be addressed regardless of the state of supports, though.) 
The changes coming to the PBE are meant to ensure that when crit carries fail in lane, it really matters, while also setting other playstyles up to carry better off the back of a good lane. This breaks down into a few themes. 
Getting to two items (Infinity Edge + Zeal upgrade) usually makes a crit-carry marksman the most valuable champion for their team, regardless of how ahead or behind they are. Two items isn't a very high threshold for that level of impact: in all but the most lopsided games, both marksmen hit their 2-item scaling spike. 
We want to push back that moment of 'turning on' so early failure is appropriately punished and going even in lane doesn't guarantee dominance in mid-game. This gives other classes and positions more influence in matches where neither marksmen became obscenely fed in lane, moving us away from a bot-centric 'coin flip' meta. 
The primary changes here:
  • Reworking Infinity Edge to be less impactful early on, with passives that make it less powerful against early game targets and more dependent on scaling through the game as a standalone item, but still extremely powerful later on.
  • Simple efficiency nerfs to the Zeal items. 
Another thing to mention is bot lane sustain has crept back up again. As usual, this means less action in lane, which puts higher priority on scaling champions. So, we also have some nerfs to marksman lane sustain: 
  • Base health regen nerfs
  • Fleet Footwork nerf 
Not every marksman wants to play the crit-carry hyperscaling game, but crit builds are too smooth and too synergistic, while other builds haven’t been supported well enough. We're planning on better enabling other playstyles - the spellslinging of a Lucian, the raw AD snowball of a Draven - by improving access to the types of effects those builds need to succeed while making crit builds less perfect: 
  • Reworking Essence Reaver to function as a standalone item. It'll still reward combat patterns that combine auto attacks and spellcasts, but without a dependency on crit.
  • A new B.F. upgrade, Stormrazor, that makes your first attacks in combat more impactful.
  • Changing Last Whisper and its upgrades back to total armor penetration. This makes it a better scalar for AD and flat armor penetration builds, since it provides better value against non-armor-stacking champs.
  • With the switch back to total penetration, Lord Dominik's Regards no longer needs the extra boost against tanks the Giant Slayer passive used to offer, so we're removing the effect (and Giant Slayer).
  • A Domination keystone, Hail of Blades, with similar goals as Stormrazor
  • Simple efficiency buffs to Blade of the Ruined King and The Bloodthirster 
Another change on this front is that marksmen are trading 4 base attack damage for a bit more AD scaling (breaking even late in lane phase or a bit thereafter). Since these are flat changes across the class, the difference in base AD between one marksman and the next will be more significant in early lane. 
We're well aware of how important base AD is to effective last-hitting in lane, so this stat change will be accompanied by a 'training wheels' last hitting assist, with the intent to remove it over the following few patches. 
Looking past marksmen for a moment, Stormrazor, Essence Reaver, Hail of Blades, and Last Whisper's return to total armor penetration are powerful options for AD fighters and assassins, too. We view them as positive additions for those classes in the long run, but will be watching short-term balance carefully. 
We’re taking this opportunity to address a few additional pain points, some for Marksman players, some for others: 
  • We're reducing the late-game burst that crit marksmen deal to squishy targets via the Infinity Edge update, which will rework the +50% crit damage passive to one that converts a portion of crit damage to true damage. This focuses crit build effectiveness more squarely on tanky targets—a few crits on a low-defense target will still be highly impactful, but it’s less likely they'll get two- or three-shotted.
  • You'll see fewer critical strike chance items early, meaning the impact of crit in lane is lower and lucky rolls won't determine the outcome of trades as often
  • The AD stat changes make marksmen less oppressive to lane against. Melee champs know this frustration, but in testing, mages have benefitted significantly as well.
  • Small changes to a number of non-crit items available to marksmen and light fighters, likely including Maw of Malmortius buffs and a Guardian Angel tweak.
  • Changes to Executioner’s Calling and Mortal Reminder aimed at preserving their place as niche purchases in the game. These haven't been locked down yet, and you may see a few versions while the marksman changes are on PBE. 
As mentioned earlier, we'll have two patch cycles to address your feedback before shipping these changes. Once the changes hit PBE, we'd appreciate feedback on the following areas: 
  • Are you finding good use cases for each new or reworked item?
  • Are these item designs exciting?
  • As a solo laner, is interacting with Marksmen understandable? 
Thanks everyone, 
Riot Axes"
He also provided a full changelist in a new thread:
"Hi folks, 
ADC item and champion changes should be coming to the PBE shortly, as discussed here: 
It’ll be a bit longer before you see Runes changes on PBE - sorry for the delay there. 
 Last Whisper Context
One thing that’s already coming up a lot is the impact of the Last Whisper changes on non-ADCs and we wanted to share our intentions here. 
Those changes are a meaningful buff to quite a few Fighters and AD Assassins, though it’s difficult to predict how much of a buff. We’ll be looking to quickly follow up if any champions become overpowered, though we haven’t ruled out some preliminary work case-by-case. 
The AD item space has been missing a crucial multiplier for ability-based damage (ie. not crit or attack speed) for quite some time now, and it’s important that champions can scale their damage properly over the course of a successful game even if that means we have to commit to some immediate monitoring and followup. Without that multiplier, champions in the space have to be tuned around exceptional - and highly reliable - early games, since they have to get extremely far ahead of their opponents in order to impact the rest of the game. Success for those champions tends to have to be measured more in how far behind they can put their victim opponent rather than in whether they got ahead or not. 
These armor penetration changes provide that scaling to many non-critical strike AD builds across several classes, allowing us to more appropriately reward success in game going forward. 
Now for the full list of item changes: 
[NEW] Stormrazor
  • B.F. Sword + Pickaxe + Dagger + 925 gold (3400 total)
  • +65 Attack Damage
  • +25% Attack Speed
  • UNIQUE Passive: If you haven't attacked in the last 2.5 seconds, your next basic attack will critically strike.
  • UNIQUE Passive: When you critically strike, gain 25% attack speed and 8% movement speed for 1.5 seconds.
Last Whisper
  • Armor Penetration :: 35% bonus >>> 10% total
Lord Dominik’s Regards
  • New build path :: Last Whisper + Pickaxe + 625 gold
  • Gold cost :: 2600 >>> 2800
  • Attack Damage :: 50 >>> 40
  • Armor Penetration :: 35% bonus armor penetration >>> 35% total armor penetration
  • Giant Slayer passive removed.
Giant Slayer
  • Removed from the shop
Mortal Reminder
  • Gold cost :: 2600 >>> 2800
  • Attack Damage :: +50 >>> +40
  • Armor Penetration :: 35% bonus armor penetration >>> 25% total armor penetration
  • Total gold cost :: 1200 >>> 1300
Rapid Firecannon
  • Total gold cost :: 2600 >>> 2800
Statikk Shiv
  • Total gold cost :: 2600 >>> 2800
Runaan’s Hurricane
  • Total gold cost :: 2600 >>> 2800
Phantom Dancer
  • Total gold cost :: 2600 >>> 2800
Infinity Edge
  • New build path: B.F. Sword + B.F. Sword + 1100 gold (3700 total)
  • Attack Damage :: +70 >>> +80
  • [REM] No longer increases critical strike damage.
  • [NEW] UNIQUE Passive: Doubles your critical strike chance.
  • [NEW] UNIQUE Passive: 20% of critical strike damage is converted to true damage.
Molten Edge (Ornn’s Infinity Edge upgrade)
  • Temporarily removed from the shop. It’ll be back before we ship.
Essence Reaver
  • New build path: B.F. Sword + Caulfield’s Warhammer + 800 gold (3200 total)
  • Cooldown Reduction :: 10% >>> 20%
  • [REM] No longer grants critical strike chance
  • [REM] No longer grants additional crit chance based on critical strike chance.
  • Mana refund reworked: Now grants 1% of missing mana on hit.
  • [NEW] UNIQUE Passive: For 8 seconds after your ultimate, gain 30% attack speed, and basic attacks refund 20% of your remaining non-ultimate cooldowns (30 second cooldown).
Cloak of Agility
  • Removed from shop
Blade of the Ruined King
  • Gold Cost :: 3400 >>> 3200
The Bloodthirster
  • Gold cost :: 3700 >>> 3500
Maw of Malmortius
  • AD :: 50 >>> 60
  • MR :: 45 >>> 50
  • Shield value :: 300 + 100% of bonus magic resistance >>> 350
Guardian Angel
  • Build Path :: B.F. Sword + Cloth Armor + Stopwatch + 200 gold (2400 total gold) >>> B.F. Sword + Chain Vest + Stopwatch + 100 gold (2800 total gold)
  • AD :: 40 >>> 45
  • Armor :: 30 >>> 40 
Champion-specific changes: 
Marksmen are receiving three different base stats passes, which are overlapping here.
  • They’ve had their base stat packages from Runes Reforged changed to match Corki. In practice this means about -5 Armor, +6 health, and +6 health per level, meaning their overall defenses are slightly more general (less good against each other, better against Zyra/Nami.)
  • Base attack damage has been retuned. They lose 4 base AD at level 1, gaining 0.7 per level, breaking even at about level 9 (you get less of your per level stats at low levels, more at higher levels).
  • Health regen has been reduced by about 2 health per 5 seconds, with small amounts of additional level 1 health added in for less poke-oriented Marksmen on top of whatever they got for the base stat package above (generally 10 or less health).
  • Armor :: 31 >>> 26
  • HP :: 527.72 >>> 539
  • HP/Level :: 79 >>> 85
  • HP Regen :: 5.5 >>> 3.5
  • Armor :: 33 >>> 28
  • HP :: 475 >>> 481
  • HP/Level :: 85 >>> 91
  • HP Regen :: 5.5 >>> 3.5
  • HP :: 518 >>> 528
  • HP Regen :: 5.5 >>> 3.5
  • Note: He didn't receive all the changes because he received a different base stat package at Runes Reforged
  • Armor :: 34 >>> 29
  • HP :: 557.76 >>> 574
  • HP/Level :: 82 >>> 88
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 31 >>> 25
  • HP :: 484.4 >>> 491
  • HP/Level :: 80 >>> 86
  • HP Regen :: 6.5 >>> 4
  • Armor :: 29 >>> 24
  • HP :: 540 >>> 556
  • HP/Level :: 85 >>> 91
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 32 >>> 28
  • HP :: 515 >>> 531
  • HP/Level :: 82 >>> 88
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 33.04 >>> 28
  • HP :: 554.4 >>> 571
  • HP/Level :: 80 >>> 86
  • HP Regen :: 5.5 >>> 3.5
  • Armor :: 28 >>> 23
  • HP :: 517.76 >>> 534
  • HP/Level :: 83 >>> 89
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 29 >>> 24
  • HP :: 517.76 >>> 534
  • HP/Level :: 82 >>> 88
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 33 >>> 28
  • HP :: 554.4 >>> 571
  • HP/Level :: 80 >>> 86
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
Miss Fortune
  • Armor :: 33 >>> 28
  • HP :: 530 >>> 541
  • HP/Level :: 85 >>> 91
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 31 >>> 26
  • HP :: 515.76 >>> 532
  • HP/Level :: 82 >>> 88
  • HP Regen :: 5 >>> 3.25
  • Armor :: 31 >>> 26
  • HP :: 542.76 >>> 559
  • HP/Level :: 82 >>> 88
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 32 >>> 27
  • HP :: 525.08 >>> 542
  • HP/Level :: 81 >>> 87
  • HP Regen :: 6 >>> 3.75
  • Armor :: 32 >>> 27
  • HP :: 537.76 >>> 549
  • HP/Level :: 82 >>> 86
  • HP Regen :: 5.5 >>> 3.5
  • Armor :: 28 >>> 23
  • HP :: 498.44 >>> 515
  • HP/Level :: 83 >>> 89
  • HP Regen :: 5.5 >>> 3.5
  • Armor :: 33 >>> 28
  • HP :: 545 >>> 561
  • HP/Level :: 80 >>> 86
  • HP Regen :: 5 >>> 3"

When asked about how the new Stormrazor item would work with champions like Jhin and Ashe, Riot Axes commented:
Do you have any plans for how this will affect non-standard crit users like ashe and jhin?
Stormrazor has been excellent on Jhin in testing. I'm less sure exactly what's going to happen with Ashe. I do assume significant follow-up will be necessary, and Ashe/Gangplank/Jhin/Tryndamere are all champions we'll need to keep an eye on."

On how the item may work with assassins, Riot Axes replied:
Adding items and masteries that front-load damage seems awful like reintroducing the Duskblade play pattern for assassins. Are you intending to keep an eye on assassin throughput with these items?
We have been, yes. 
The nuclear option will be locking out Duskblade and Stormrazor from being used together. I would strongly prefer to avoid that situation if possible, but testing has been inconclusive and its a real risk. 
Last Whisper is also significant here, though in that case it'll be about tuning either the lethality items' stats or the champions around a world where those builds scale better across game time."

On lane sustain, Riot Axes commented:
In regards to nerfing lane sustain, are you worried this will make taking a Nami or Soraka to lane too much of a requirement as opposed to a tankier support, or do you consider this a win in regards to making the kind of support you bring to lane matter more and have the contributions between the warden and enchanter classes less homogeneous in lane phase?
It's a meaningful buff to both mage and enchanter supports in lane, as compared to tanks. It hasn't made them a requirement in our tests, but if it does we have plenty of tuning levers available."

On the interaction with Randuin's and Infinity Edge, Riot Axes replied:
How will Randuin's interact with the new IE? It seems counterintuitive that the premier anti-crit item would do NOTHING to counteract the premier crit item, But given how true damage works, it seems like that would be the case, so does it apply its crit damage reduction BEFORE the true damage conversion or AFTER? Because it feels like it should be the former.
You make a good point for sure. We're still discussing - I'm leaning towards Tabi and Randuin's applying before Infinity Edge."

When asked about Garen's Q and Stormrazor, Riot Axes noted:
spin doesnt reset the timer.
otoh for some reason Q won't apply the crit (apparently any modified auto attack won't right now -- hopefully a bug) but you can get 2 free crits before and after spin and it's a fairly big chunk of extra damage
The Q thing is a bug, should be fixed on PBE tomorrow (had quite a few things go wrong in pushing it to PBE). Q-E-Auto should proc it twice if you spin for 2.5 seconds. 
For a while in testing it just gave you 100% crit chance til you critted something, which was super fun on Garen. Turns out we can't actually let Jhin have 4000 gold of free stats while he ults, though - who'd've thought?"

8.10 Jungle Changes - Iteration and Additional Context

Here's Riot Sotere's first thread with details on Jungle changes now testing on the PBE, posted 4/27. He also provided an updated thread after going through feedback from the community:
"Heyas there, 
Thanks everyone for your feedback last week. We have a new iteration on our jungle changes for 8.10, and we've reevaluated some of our goals and tactics and we are testing some new changes as a result. 
For reference our goals for the 8.10 changes were included in our first context post here: 

Goals we are still targeting for 8.10: 
  • Reduce early lane pressure from junglers
  • Reduce mana restraints as a hard blocker for champions that want to jungle
Additional context on reducing early lane pressure: The lane phase is one of the most important points in the game for creating and building a lead against your opponent. Currently, we’re seeing junglers being the deciding factor in who wins or loses a lane more often than feels appropriate. We've had a steady creep of jungler pressure towards early lane influence that we want to combat. Laners should more often have the opportunity to outplay their opponents and showcase their skills without being thwarted by jungle presence. To be clear, we still want junglers to primarily influence the game through ganks, but we want to push back the earliest of these ganks, and generally increase the cost a jungler pays for them. 
Goals we are de-emphasizing for 8.10:
  • Increased early Jungle vs Jungle interaction
  • Encourage variation in optimal pathing 
We're going to put substantially less emphasis on the goal of encouraging variation in optimal pathing. In particular, we're attempting to iterate away from pathing changes that feel mandated in the early game, or overly-influenced by random elements. 
Next, we recognize that our tactics to encourage early jungle vs. jungle interactions were received as too heavy-handed and that there'd be too much of an emphasis on powerful early junglers and laners who can establish early dominance/wave pressure. We think this is still a promising space to open up at some point, but likely not using the tactics you saw in the last set of changes. 
High level changes and context from the previously stated iteration:
  • Rift Scuttler spawn logic :: Randomly determined location at all points >>> Now at game start, there are crabs on both sides of the river. When both are killed, only one will respawn, in a randomly determined location
    • Context: We want to lower the pressure that RNG has on the early game decision making of the jungler and their laners. We like the dynamic the randomness and scarcity creates as the game progresses, but forcing it so early turned out to be too dramatic.
  • Rift Scuttler experience :: 170 >>> 115-230 (scales from levels 1-9)
    • Context: This makes the early Rift Scuttler not as pivotal in terms of early fights and there is no more forced incentive to take it as it won't grant a quicker path to level 3 than other routes. As the game progresses, Scuttler importance will climb such that it's still a point of conflict.
  • Rift Scuttler gold :: 100 >>> 70-140 (scales as above)
    • Context: Same as previous section. Pushing the reward into later in the game.
  • Camp Respawn timers :: 2:30 >>> 2:15
    • Context: Very tentatively testing lower respawn timers. Your camps having downtime is great for encouraging PvP through ganks, but we can also see a world where camps being available more leads to wider decision making, not fewer. Our hypothesis is this will bring back some gains encouraging more counter-jungling as a response to ganks, and thus higher cost and probably less ganks early on. Moreover, efficient pathing becomes a more important skill test. As mentioned, these are tentative because the changes have downsides: this encourages a heavier PvE playstyle and makes the fastest junglers have an easy and noninteractive path to a lead. Gold value of camps is also down 10% so economy is not flat-out increased, though further tuning will be required here.
As usual, changes on PBE are subject to change and planned for pretty significant iteration. These changes potentially more so than most, as we recognize we're working with a delicate system that currently supports a good number of playstyles and skill tests. Thanks as always for your passionate feedback and please do let us know how these changes feel on PBE. 
Also small extra note: we have version of Runic Echoes on PBE that we'll be pulling in favor of a different iteration that was receiving more positive internal feedback. The shape of that item looks more like the following: 

When asked about the removal of movespeed from jungle items, Maple Nectar commented:
I really like most of the scale-backs I'm seeing here compared to last communication with us. 
I will, however really really miss the movespeed on my jungle item, it meant a great deal playing an AP assassin jungler, but I can see the reason for the change
Yep, unfortunately the movespeed was just better utilized by Nidalee, Elise, and Eve. We're hoping that this change opens up the jungle to more mages, along with the mana tuning on talisman."

On Bloodrazor, Maple Nectar noted:
Any plan for Bloodrazor?
Not currently"

When asked about Krugs, Riot Sotere replied:
Would you consider changing krugs at all? 
I feel many avoid the krug camp unless there is absolutely nothing else to do (they have no wards to place, no ganks, no more camps and not enough gold). 
Waiting for them to split is infuriating and they definitely don't offer a worthy reward for the time investment.
There reward is amplified as compared to Live. They're also the only remaining quick path to level 3 (if you clear a full Krugs in conjunction with two other camps you'll get your level 3). I expect that'll increase priority on them somewhat."

 On the respawn time, Riot Sotere commented:
This isn't really a problem but do you think you'll consider adjusting the respawn time so it's a multiple of 10 for easier mental math. 
I don't really think it's a priority or anything, just wondering if it's something Riot thinks about if that makes any sense
Yes, we do think about it. I've had multiple conversations on the topic because I broke Rift Scuttler off of a 30 second break point. We were considering if we could go down 30 seconds here, and were hedging towards testing the most extreme version first but I'm quite confident we don't have that much wiggle room. 
So, it is a pain point to get off of very easy to track timing numbers but sometimes it's not feasible to stick to those big breakpoints and we need to be a bit more granular."

Riot Sotere continued:
Changing the camp respawn timers hurts catchup XP, since the average game level would be lower since it spawns earlier, which can considerably nerf some play patterns. Is this intended? (not sure if the 15 seconds matters enough though)
We'll be looking out for this. My expectation is 15 second won't dramatically impact this. We're also not really supporting play patterns that revolve around using comeback experience. That's more of a safety net not expected to be used with frequency (and is quite rarely utilized from the numbers we pulled, granted it was last year and my mind is a bit hazy on the specifics). 
A potentially more impactful change we're testing out that does matter is that the over-leveled experience penalty has tentatively been removed."

Riot Sotere went on:
The over-leveled experience penalty? I haven't heard of this, what is it?
For every level ahead you are of a camp you get 5% reduced experience. It kicks in even at fractional amounts of being ahead, and probably accounts for the experience oddities you've seen if you were closely watching experience gain and knew what the camp was supposed to grant. 
I think it's a mechanic that has done a lot of work in the past but if we want to see more individual stand-out performances (which we do) it might not be as necessary. We'll see! I haven't seen any unacceptable margins in the past few weeks we've been testing it."

Riot Sotere provided more detail on camp experience:
No xp decrease with the reduced respawn timers? That will 100% sure break champs like Graves, Nidalee... Its basically season 6 all over again but with increased xp because of early season 7 changes. Also don't see how this lowers jungle pressure on lanes since you'll still be getting same xp as live, just the enemy jungler will be what? maybe 1 camp more ahead? Idk about this changes honestly
Experience on the camps is reduced and gradually increased over game time. So there is a reduction, but it's not flat throughout game time. Still working on tuning on this. Our aim isn't to further encourage super heavy farming junglers so we'll do what we can to limit that playstyle taking over."

Riot Sotere commented on Scuttle scarcity:
So why is it important to make scuttles rarer? Seems like there will be a bit of RNG around the really big objectives vision control, which seems especially impactful on pro players (just guessing). you guys must have your reasons but I wondered what it is?
The scarcity and amplified reward has the potential to create more conflict around the objective (Scuttler in this case). That is the main impetus of going that direction."

On Runic Echoes, Riot Sotere noted:
I honestly liked the version of Runic Echoes on PBE, because it reminds me a lot of Magus and I liked magus while it existed (especially for Fiddle!), especially since it was going to open up the option to buy Luden's on a jungler. 
That being said, I do like this coming change to Runic you've shared with us.
Thanks for the feedback. Magus was the inspiration for this iteration. We wanted to test to see if the most generically useful stats would actually be useful to the widest set of champions. That may be true, but in our testing we already ran into negative feedback that encouraged me to move away from the iteration. The lack of the Echoes proc was reduced satisfaction, the increased CDR and lack of a mana return function also made mages OOM more, and overcapping on CDR was restricting some common mage build paths. The posted iteration should address those concerns and hopefully still be a leg up for mages."

On the removal of attack speed on Hunter's Machete, Riot Sotere commented:
The attack speed removal from Hunter Machete is a huge nerf for auto attack junglers like, Jax, Yi, Trynda. The only reason it was added in the first place was to help these junglers that relied on the old attack speed runes. 
Why was it changed?
This and the Kindle mechanic were always intended to be temporary measures to assist with the transition to the new Runes world. At the time of release, we didn't want junglers to feel obligated to go Precision and penalized too harshly for going Resolve. Now that splashing lets you dip and have more control over your stats, we felt like they weren't worth keeping around on reevaluation. 
There are champions who will be particularly impacted by this and we'll be keeping an eye on whether they need compensation."

On smite buffs, Riot Sotere replied:
Just 1 thing, if you wanted junglers to go into the enemy jungle more why not bring back smite buffs? They were a good reason to go into the enemy jungle and punish them for ganking by taking away their raptor buff/ taking the wolf buff while also encouraging you to track the enemy jungler to find him when his priority camps are going to be up
When we talk about jungle systems internally I think this and Conservation are the two systems that we talk about most fondly and consider bringing back. Smite buffs are my top choice, though I may be a bit biased because I was involved in a QA capacity on them back in the day. 
That said, bringing that system back would be a large undertaking. I think if we were to seriously devote time to it, we may keep one or two of the old buffs (if any). So we'd have to tailor the other ones to suit a particular goal. As much as I enjoyed heightened importance around Razorbeaks, it's hard for me to evaluate how much work these systems were doing, and how much it's just nostalgia for me wanting its return."

Riot Sotere talked more about Jungle RNG:
"I keep hearing Karthus is a beast. But I'll wait until players on Live truly prove it before I believe it. I think even the more assassin-like champions you mentioned will probably favor this item. Nidalee has been a big winner because she really likes the mana pool and CDR, despite sharing a lot of the qualities of the above champions. 
Jumping to your RNG question: Junglers have the most freedom of movement and cover a lot of territory, so odds are they're going to have access to map systems. More importantly, their gameplay is most prone to going stale. They have a lot of PvE elements and they get solved over the course of a season. Laners get vastly different experiences game to game and even wave to wave. Is their opponent aggressing? Do they have wave control? Did that cannon minion just change its targets and mess up your last-hitting? Did you reach your threshold to clear caster minions out in time? Even more importantly, and not random but certainly out of your hands, is the match-ups change in lane most games. I think we see a lot of frustration when players end up going against the same champions in lane time after time (Caitlyn is what I'm thinking now, but there's probably a better example here). So I do think that random elements can help make for a much better overall experience in the jungle, whereas they're not as needed in the lane. For the jungle, I imagine RNG could make for a lot more interesting skill test where you couldn't count on doing one path game to game and instead had to adapt on the fly to changing circumstances. As for whether it fits in competitive games: I think a lot of competitive games already have these elements and I don't think they're worse off for it. There're ways to make them more palatable and healthy for competitive. For instance, sufficient notice such that you have to respond to a call of action and can assess the risk and value."

Quick Hits

"Which lore update from Ionia did you like the best and why? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to share your League creations using #summonershowcase. 
The Team:
  • Riot Swimbananas - Riot Recruiter by day, Summoner Showcase host by night! Also, Tidepod™
  • gomatgo – Producer, Show Runner, Director, Jhin main
  • Riot Jynx - Producer, Creator Support Programs, cosplay mama, lazy egg"
"The price of determinism is eternal vigilance.

I’m Rick Hoskinson, an engineer on the League of Legends Core Gameplay Initiative, and this is the final article in the “Determinism” series. Previously in this series, we explained the broad strokes required to achieve determinism in the League of Legends game server. However, there remained the task of tracking down divergences in legacy code while building maintainable systems that would ensure future divergence regressions could be found and fixed. Thoughtful implementation of these systems allows us to sustain Project Chronobreak features without dedicating a full-time team.

In this final article, we’ll dig into how we detect divergences and fix them."

[Check out the full article here!] 

"The path to playing in the NA LCS isn’t an instant jump from solo queue to stage. When a pro enters the scene, they are often bombarded with millions of new things to learn, ranging from moving into a new house (or even country), to working with a new team, to handling their finances, all on top of playing the most competitive League of Legends in their life. Recognizing this transition can be an overwhelming experience—especially for athletes in their formative years—Player Management team’s role is to mitigate some of that craziness by providing classes, trainings, and support. 
With more than 860 pros and 100 professional teams around the world, we have Rioters in every region committed to supporting our pro players and improving their experience. Here’s an intro to our North American Player Management (NA PM) team, what we do, and why we do it."

[Check out the full article here!]


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • MSI 2018 starts May 3rd, but you can start the celebrations now! Check out our coverage in MSI 2018 Hits the Rift!

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